Are you there? Can you hear me? Somewhere near me?
In the morning, long ago, had to hold you so close, had to never let go.
Time on the river sliding on by. Hard to believe, wink of an eye.

Where'd you go, Baby Buffalo? What's become of old Cotton Eyed Joe?
Hold up, lying low, long gone come-a summertime snow.

Talk to your doctor, making her rounds. Ninety-six tears, one thousand clowns.
There they are, shining bright. True creation, pure delight.
They go on, so do you. On and on, maybe me too.

Long ago Baby Buffalo, what's become of old Cotton Eyed Joe?
Hold up, lying low, long gone come-a summertime snow.

Hold on to now till you have to let go. Easy through your fingers, ever so.
I'm just guessing, I don't know. Maybe it's a blessing, I sure hope so.

Lyrics submitted by bmccullo

Baby Buffalo song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentWhat a beautiful song. Honestly, it captures the idea of the fleeting moment, the incomprehensible passage of time, the intense human questions -- life, and especially, death. "Where'd you go, Baby Buffalo?" -- And James Taylor's whole outlook on life (I think) in one line -- "I'm just guessing. I don't know. Maybe it's a blessing, I sure hope so."

    Isn't it perfect? It captures existence and the most important thoughts a person can have. Absolutely wonderful song.
    triswebon April 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe first post says it well. This is a song that stirs very deep feelings in me, though I wouldn't call them emotions, if that means anything to you. There is a sense of transcendance and something infinite within this song that I can't put into words.
    James Taylor is simply amazing as a songwriter.
    LDFon June 06, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOctober Road seems more about the autum of one's life than a time of year. Like listening to mythology. Stop and hold on to life as it gently slips through your fingers. Beautiful song.
    Nomad537on June 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is a song that I can listen to over and over and each time it reveals something more, something different. The breathing in the background reminds me how few breaths we all have. Is the breath of a baby, or the breath of an old man on a breathing device? I don't know and I think that is the beauty of that element, and of the songwriting in general. The comments above are wonderful views of this great song.
    peternelson1on April 23, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI believe this song is about his mother's death. The breathing is the respirator. Listen closely, the parent's going home with the new baby, that her death was possibly a blessing. It's all there. The western references are images of his childhood and the closeness to his mother.
    antysooon July 20, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDefinitely the autumn of a man's life
    Taima2on April 07, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is a good explanation of why people must go on to the next life. As in the chorus "Where'd you go baby buffalo? What's become of old cotton eyed joe? Hold up, lying low, long gone come a summertime snow". People will not be around for a long time. I think it may be relating to his brother's death. He talks about a doctor and if you listen to "Enough to be on your way" from the album "Hourglass" it is very similar. Great song from JT.
    hedgeofthehogon June 17, 2016   Link

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